Let There Be Song!

Let There Be Song!
Let There Be Song!

To view photos from the concerts, click here.
To view video recordings of the concerts, click here.

The show must go on, as they say.

And through much of the pandemic, it did—choruses and instrumental groups in all divisions created virtual performances, with individual students in their own houses recording themselves singing, dancing, and playing instruments. Now, after a long hiatus (and some safety-related precautions), live music returned to Sidwell Friends.

The Upper School instrumental and choral groups launched their long-awaited in-person performances first, showcasing their talents for parents. For Upper School choral music teacher Sarah Markovits, it was a return to what choral singing should be.

“Singing in a choir is the team sport of music,” she says. “When we were online everything was a solo—students were singing, but into a recorder and it got put together later. It sounds like a choir, but it’s not the thing that makes this art form so unique.”

Now, students—donning special “Resonance” singers’ masks —were together again.

“In the song, ‘Cold December Flies Away,’ by Daniel Schreiner, there’s this beautiful chord and it swells and grows and everyone was so in tune with each other—actually in tune, but also really connected—that it was an emotional moment,” Markovits says. “I had to take a couple of deep breaths because my eyes were tearing up.”

While the Middle School concert was postponed due to concerns about a rising COVID positivity rate, the Lower School 2nd and 4th grade winter concert went on, though without an in-person parental audience. But other Lower School students made up in enthusiasm what the audience was lacking in numbers. Students danced, interpreted poetry through movement, played instruments, and sang songs of the season. Class 4Y even made a stop-motion movie inspired by the poem “How to Toast Marshmallows” by Marilyn Singer.

As the Sidwell Friends community and the world at large stumbles toward a new normal, returning traditions are reminders that warmth can be found during cold days and light can be found in darkness. As students, teachers, and parents close the door on another year that demanded flexibility, kindness, and care, the return of live music is a sign that moments of joy are always close at hand.

Upper School Choral Concert

Upper School Instrumental Concert

4th Grade Holiday Concert

2nd Grade Holiday Concert

More School News

Celebrating Mamadou Guèye

Guèye told the more than 300 attendees that though his normal motto was “gratitude, generosity, and goodwill; tonight, it is gratitude, gratitude, and gratitude.”